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Quayle Joins McClintock's Bid to End State's 'Car Tax'

May 20, 1999|MIGUEL BUSTILLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Assemblyman Tom McClintock, whose district includes Simi Valley and Fillmore, has brought in a heavy hitter in his crusade to abolish California's so-called car tax.

McClintock (R-Northridge) last month launched an initiative drive to place the issue before voters. And today, he is set to unveil the campaign's honorary chairman at a news conference on the north steps of the state Capitol: Dan Quayle.

The vice president under George Bush, who may make his own run for the White House next year, is taking a deep interest in California's tax system, McClintock said.

"He offered to help, and I thought this was a fine idea," McClintock said. "Several states have abolished the car tax. I expect it will be an important issue in the presidential campaign.

"We welcome support from the other candidates as well," he added. "I have made it clear that I will not endorse any candidates who support this mean-spirited and excessive tax."

McClintock needs to gather nearly 1 million signatures from registered voters by Aug. 23 to make the ballot. He has received support from several prominent taxpayer organizations, and believes the effort to ban the vehicle registration fee will resonate with voters the same way that Proposition 13 did two decades ago.

A leading candidate to replace state Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) next year, McClintock said he is concerned about spreading himself too thin: He will fly back to Ventura County later today to attend a kickoff fund-raiser for his Senate run in Simi Valley at 6 p.m.

But, he says, he is a man of his word.

"Sure, I'm worried about" over-committing, he said. "But a promise is a promise."

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